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[skot-free] /ˈskɒtˈfri/
completely free from harm, restraint, punishment, or obligation:
The driver of the car escaped from the accident scot-free. The judge let the defendant off scot-free.
Origin of scot-free
Middle English word dating back to 1200-50; See origin at scot, -free Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for scot-free
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Scottie, you fellows, even when you had Allister to lead you, couldn't get off scot-free from Dozier.

    Way of the Lawless Max Brand
  • I am not going to let them get off scot-free, nasty, wicked thieves.

    The Carroll Girls Mabel Quiller-Couch
  • I only wish I had been there; they wouldn't have got off scot-free, the scoundrels!'

    Sarah's School Friend

    May Baldwin
  • And if you can show that you weren't there at all—why, out you go, scot-free.

    The Calico Cat Charles Miner Thompson
  • Louie was not merely let off scot-free for what she did, but was to have every happiness given to her.

    The Third Miss Symons Flora Macdonald Mayor
  • Connecticut, indeed, as already observed, came off scot-free.

  • So they were obliged to release the man, and he got off scot-free?

    The Hero of Garside School

    J. Harwood Panting
  • My heart would be scot-free from cares,And lighter than a feather.

British Dictionary definitions for scot-free


adverb, adjective
(predicative) without harm, loss, or penalty
Word Origin
C16: see scot and lot
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for scot-free

Old English scotfreo "exempt from royal tax," from scot "royal tax," from Old Norse skot "contribution," literally "a shooting, shot; thing shot, missile," from PIE *skeud- "to shoot, chase, throw" (see shoot (v.); the Old Norse verb form, skjota, has a secondary sense of "transfer to another; pay") + freo (see free (adj.)). First element related to Old English sceotan "to pay, contribute," Dutch schot, German Schoß "tax, contribution." French écot "share" (Old French escot) is from Germanic.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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